How Do Drive and Serpentine Belts Work?

Schedule Brake Pad Replacement
Service Area

$124.62 - $450.29

Price range for all vehicles
Average rating from 10,979 customers who received a Brake Pads Replacement.

The drive belt on your vehicle delivers power to the car’s engine, alternator, water pump, power steering pump, and air conditioner compressor. Usually, a car has one or two drive belts, and if there is only one, it is often referred to as a serpentine belt.

The drive belt is constructed from sturdy rubber, but eventually, it will sustain some wear. You can usually expect it to last up to 75,000 miles, but most mechanics recommend replacing it at the 45,000 mile mark, because if it breaks, you won’t be able to drive your car. And if the engine runs without a belt, your coolant won’t circulate, and your engine could overheat.

How do you know if the belt needs to be replaced?

You’ll probably notice chirping or squeaking sounds. If you do, you have your mechanic examine the belt. Splits, cracks, missing chunks, damaged edges, and glazing are all indications of excessive drive belt wear, and the belt should be replaced. You should also have the drive or serpentine belt replaced if it has become soaked in oil – it might not cause a problem right away, but oil is one of the leading causes of drive belt damage so immediate replacement is advised.

Loose belts are also a problem. Most cars today are equipped with a belt tensioner that works automatically to ensure that the belt is always properly adjusted, but some still require manual adjustment. A rattling sound can be an indication that your drive belt tensioner is faulty.

What causes drive belt wear?

One of the most common causes of excessive and premature belt wear is a misaligned alternator. When the alternator is misaligned, so is the pulley that moves the belt. Another cause is a missing or damaged engine under shield, this is what protects the belt from water, dirt, small rocks, and other compounds that can cause it to wear more quickly. Oil or coolant leaks and improper tension can also cause wear.

Don’t take chances

Don’t neglect your drive belt. The last thing you want is to end up roadside with an overheated, badly damaged engine because your water pump or cooling system failed, or to lose your power steering on a tight curve. Don’t risk damage to your car’s engine, or to yourself.


Next Step

Schedule Brake Pad Replacement

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Brake Pad Replacement. Yourmechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7 days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 10k cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Recent Brake Pad Replacement reviews

Excellent Rating


YourMechanic Brake Pad Replacement Service

Average Rating

4.9/5

Number of Reviews

10,979

Rating Summary
10,466
327
68
33
85
10,466
327
68
33
85

Theodore

14 years of experience
1091 reviews
Theodore
14 years of experience
Dodge Grand Caravan - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Bellevue, Washington
Second time using Theodore to service my van. He's always professional and detail oriented. He takes extra effort in tracking down issues and explains things well. Very customer oriented. Highly recommend.

Tung

14 years of experience
284 reviews
Tung
14 years of experience
Ram 1500 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Marietta, Georgia
Tung showed up on time and was very friendly. Changed my brake pads in about 30 minutes and gave me recommendations on when to change the rear pads. Will ask for him by name next time.

Victor

33 years of experience
105 reviews
Victor
33 years of experience
Chrysler Grand Voyager - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Albuquerque, New Mexico
Have used Victor multiple times now for work on my vehicle. He is prompt, courteous, knowledgeable, and dependable. I never have to worry about a thing as Victor makes sure work is performed quickly, efficiently and and correctly.

Chuck

8 years of experience
120 reviews
Chuck
8 years of experience
Honda Odyssey - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Coppell, Texas
Had an appointment for replacing Front Brake Pads today. Chuck did a great job and completed the task before the schedule. I will surely refer yourmechanic to my friends as well. Happy Thanksgiving Chuck. Thanks again for your great service.

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE